Function Order: Se-Ti-Fe-Ni
Ethan is incredibly fast thinking and the movies revolve around his daring feats of sensory improvisation—as he tells Ilsa, he doesn’t plan in advance so much as assume (correctly) that he will “figure it out when I get there.” Ethan uses a combination of instant insight and rapid action on a case; he throws himself onto airplane wings, attaches himself to cargo drops, grabs onto ropes hanging off helicopters, steals cars, drops off roofs and lands safely thanks to a rope, jumps on and off moving platforms, and is willing to risk his life diving into a water system and improvising in an underwater tank when everything goes wrong. If something doesn’t work (such as when he climbs up into the helicopter and realizes it’s the wrong one), he just tries something else (shooting both people inside the chopper, and then using it to attempt to force the other one to land). Ethan is a natural problem-solver, using a combination of his mind and his body; though the films are full of him thinking through split-second decisions and making them, one of the better examples is in the opera house, when he spots Ilsa pointing a gun at the ambassador, and sees a second assassin in the booth across from him. He has only one bullet, and only a few seconds to decide which of them to shoot—Ethan points his gun back and forth between them, then realizes if he shoots the ambassador on the arm, he can prevent either of them having a clear shot, because the guards will react and hurry him away. So he does that, successfully thwarting them both. He deeply wants to understand what is going on, why “dead” assassins are being resurrected and used as killing machines, and goes underground to figure these things out for himself, assembling an intense portfolio of names, connections, and detailed information his bosses can use to pinpoint what’s happening. Ethan also has a strong Fe, which causes him to make a lot of emotional decisions at the expense of more rational ones—he loves his friends too much to sacrifice them just to stop a bad guy, and the villains know it. His strong sense of morality, his refusal to let innocent bystanders get killed, etc., actually foil some of his operations—because he won’t go along with immoral things like killing a bunch of cops, or shooting an innocent female police officer (he whips out his guns and kills the men threatening her instead). Ethan discriminates between who is innocent and who is not, and has no problem taking out rival agents or bad guys, but also gives Isla the benefit of the doubt. He argues, when she wants to cut and run, that they need to stay, since they have a duty to humanity. The villain even taunts him about his “pathetic love for humanity.” Ethan has flashes of excellent insight, but also some blind spots. He trusts his hunches, which often prove to be correct—he speculates accurately on who is behind all of this recent activity and why, he knows to trust Isla even when she gives him reason to think otherwise, and he has a clear idea of what he wants to do about it. And yet, the villains in the last two movies run rings around him, because he doesn’t figure out until he’s in the thick of things that he’s being framed to take the fall for their sins! He is much better at instantly reacting to and recognizing his foes than automatically knowing what they are planning or figuring out their long-con.
Enneagram: cp 6w7 so/sp
Ethan is all about keeping himself and his fellow agents safe; he does not want to put them at risk, and actively argues against his best friend doing anything at the opera, because it might be too dangerous. He is suspicious of everyone and their motives, and helps Ilsa get out of trouble, telling her that she needs to run off with him to keep safe, and not wanting her to go back “undercover” (he assumes she is working undercover, but can’t be sure, and isn’t positive he can trust her when their paths cross later and he sees her pointing a weapon at the ambassador). He is somewhat skeptical of his ability to hold his breath for four or five minutes, and wants to know the risks involved in doing a deep dive. He also assumes himself responsible to greater civilization, and believes in doing the right thing according to the general public. He risks his life often for their benefit. He throws himself headlong into danger at times, is socially extroverted, and can be aggressive and assertive when necessary, owing to his wing being 7 (from the assertive stance triad; 7s do not let anything stand in their way). He is also funny, playful, self-deprecating, and self-confident.
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